MusicRecord Reviews


Emotional management strategies vary, and in the wake of a failed relationship it’s suggested that suffering parties attempt things like screaming into pillows or writing angry letters, then throwing them out. Of course, amplified electric guitars and liters of sour-mash whiskey have proven equally cathartic. Informed by the dissolution of frontman Scott Low’s marriage, Write a New Song finds Efren wallowing in the mire—bitter and breaking at the seams.

Tracked live at Full Moon Studios during two six-hour sessions, there was never an opportunity to second guess the venomous vehemence. Hurt permeates. Voices are raised and power chords hit.

While Efren wears pain and holds grudges quite well, the album has moments of countrified nostalgia (“Old Mountain Road”) and group-therapy honkytonk punk rock (“Family Tree of Recovery”) that suggest Low still knows you can drink whiskey for fun and not just for forgetting, or getting furious.